Middle school basketball

Eich eighth-graders take OT thriller from Silverado

By: Kurt Johnson, Press-Tribune sports editor
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A late offensive rebound led to a game-tying basket at the buzzer for the W.T. Eich eighth-grade boys basketball team, which dominated the three-minute overtime period in a 48-39 win over Silverado Tuesday at Eich. The Wildcats’ Kyle Yomogida drew a two-shot foul with just nine seconds remaining and his team trailing 39-37. He missed both charity tosses, but Jay Bennett battled for an offensive rebound after the second miss and then dished to Sean Marten for a 12-foot baseline jumper that sent the contest to extra time. The huge bucket was Marten’s first of the game. The Eich heroics in the final seconds were enough to overcome a 20-point performance by Silverado’s Tyler Milani. Milani was dominant in the paint and also delivered from the outside, but foul trouble sent him to the bench for the final moments of the third stanza and the opening of the fourth period. The Bears struggled to find an offensive rhythm in Milani’s absence and trailed 35-29 when he returned to the floor with 4:15 to play in the game. The foul that sent Yomogida to the stripe in the closing seconds was Milani’s fifth, taking him out of the game. The shooting of Milani and Nick Brazil in the opening period got Silverado off to a great start and the Bears led 12-8 after the initial seven minutes. Eich’s Dominic Marrero lived in the passing lanes in the second quarter, turning steals into layups as he delivered all of his team-high 10 points in that period. The Wildcats rode Marrero’s defense to outscore Silverado 14-3 in the second, taking a 22-15 lead into the halftime break. The Bears got some balanced scoring in the third and pulled even at 29-29 after three quarters of play. Max Morse, Tristan York and Nolan Bender got onto the scoreboard in the period. Ruslan Levko’s second-half shooting was key for Eich, as was the interior defense of Kyle Sprague. Derek Harbert was strong on the boards for the Wildcats and was particularly efficient on the offensive glass, scoring eight points in the game due to his prowess with offensive rebounding. The game came down to the fateful final ticks and the big rebound that paved the way for a Wildcat win. After securing the tie and forcing overtime, Yomogida scored seven points in the three-minute extra session as Eich outscored Silverado 9-0 to put the game away.